When Majka stepped out through the kitchen door at dusk she found a huge white weasel in the garden. Brazen, it locked eyes with her: a rare chelu, a ghost weasel, halfway between the garden wall and the little ramp by which the chickens entered the barn. Majka hissed. The chelu answered with a growl. The animal was nearly the size of a wolverine.
The door stood open behind her. From within came the eager thok thok of her mother-in-law’s knife as she battled a turnip, then a chord from the mandolin her son was learning to play. They had borrowed the instrument from a neighbor; it was scratched and worn, and the neck felt slightly loose, but the family treated it like the relic of a saint. It had changed their evenings, brought life to those shadow-swamped rooms.
Majka closed the door. She would face the chelu with the axe from the wood-splitting stump. Never taking her eyes from the creature, she backed along the side of the whitewashed house. A fierce wind was rising. The warmth of the day was ebbing fast.
Robert V.S. Redick is the author of the critically acclaimed epic fantasy series The Chathrand Voyage Quartet. His new trilogy, The Fire Sacraments, launches in the fall of 2017 with Master Assassins. For twenty years he has combined fiction and international social and environmental justice work. Robert has lived and worked in Indonesia, Colombia, Argentina, and the UK. He now lives in Massachusetts with his partner, Kiran Asher, where they raise mud turtles. He can be found online at robertvsredick.com.
About the Narrator:
Amy Robinson is a voice artist with a wide range of vocal styling, inflections, and accents. She can be heard in a wide array of radio announcer spots, audiobook narrations, animated series, and even telephone IVR systems, and is a featured player on the Rookery Radio Hour Podcast. You can find her online at amyrobinsonvo.com.